Tuesday, July 26, 2011

New Family of Raccoons on the Premises

Oh, I know. Raccoons are a common enough sight when it comes to suburban wildlife. But in most of my 15 years here, I saw little evidence of raccoons, which seemed a mystery to me. Here and there I saw skunks, and of course, I'm awash nearly every year in woodchucks,deer and turkeys, red fox and gray fox, even coyote, but raccoons? Not usually.

Earlier this year, I noted the likely presence of a raccoon when I discovered a bag of corn seed ripped apart inside my garage. I have a bad habit of leaving the garage door open overnight, to save on wear and tear on the garage door opener. I've heard they're expensive to replace. I figure I'll be out there the very next day, so why not? (Wierd, I know.)

So I spotted the likely culprits this afternoon after a sudden summer downpour forced me indoors. I was relaxing in the sun room, listening to the steady pounding of raindrops on the roof and the sound of water funneling down the gutter leader.

As usual, Luther saw them first. He growled, and then I watched as a mama raccoon and her three juvenile babies nonchalantly made their way up the stone stairs to the backyard (aka, The Stairway to Heaven), and then disappeared into the single row of forsythia along the stone wall/property line. It's the very spot where there's an old, and I assume uninhabited, woodchuck burrow. (Animals often reuse other animals' dens. Guess it's always easier to move into existing real estate rather than new construction.)

Those babies were awfully cute. I don't mind having them around.


  1. I absolutely love that stone wall and steps! Stairway to Heaven indeed. I like the natural look of it.

    I'm not sure I would welcome the raccoons so easily. In W. Hartford they were terrible pests, not so much here in Bloomfield where it is less urban.

  2. Well, aside from getting into garbage cans, how do they become pests? Since they're not vegetarian, like woodchucks, they don't damage veggie gardens, do they? If they eat insects and grubs and stuff like that, I would think that would be an advantage.

    Yes, I've always loved my stone walls. It's at the head of my driveway; the part on the right collapsed the first winter I lived here due to heavy snowfall, but I haven't had a problem since, which has been a little surprising given the shape they're in.